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It is safe to say that the global COVID-19 pandemic has shifted everyone’s lives in profound ways. Our homes have transformed into multi-use spaces, serving as a home office, remote school, and an entertainment centre. Some of us have had to temporarily pause hobbies, social engagements, and celebrations. Others are working overtime to keep others safe and healthy, putting their own lives at risk in the process. While many of us have been adjusting to a new normal over the past nine months of living through this pandemic, studies are showing that many teenagers and pre-teens are still struggling with these drastic lifestyle shifts.
Modern Day Parenting Challenges During COVID-19
In a recent study conducted by Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences, it was revealed that teenagers are disproportionately suffering from the psychological implications of social distancing and isolation protocols. The shift onto online classes coupled with restrictions placed upon social interactions outside of the family, have cut teens and pre-teens off from their sources of psychological support, increasing their risk of both depression and anxiety.
For parents of adolescents who may have struggled with defiant or questionable behaviours from their teen prior to the outbreak, the impact of isolation has exacerbated some of these challenges. With severely limited sources of social and recreational stimulation, some parents are even concerned that their young-adult children are involving themselves in drugs or substance abuse as a coping mechanism.
Some other common warning signs of a troubled teen or pre-teen may include:
- Sudden, abrupt change in attitudes, behaviour, or personality
- Continual school absences and sharp declines in grades
- Prolonged periods of sadness, depression, anxiety, or anger
- Outright defiance and unwillingness to obey standard rules and regulations
- Any suggestion of suicide, or indication of self-mutilation
How can a Private Investigator Help?
Parents will typically seek the support of a Private Investigator Team once they have attempted other forms of intervention, and fear for the wellbeing and safety of both the teenager, and the family. Using discreet undercover surveillance, a Private Investigator can collect high definition 4K video footage or photographic evidence detailing any suspicious or concerning behaviors involving your teen. Often, in the process of keeping a watchful eye upon your teenage child, we are able to collect valuable evidence of unlawful activity on behalf of other individuals, which can be presented to the authorities – for example, evidence of a bartender or shopkeeper willingly selling alcohol to minors.
In other cases, evidence may be able to disprove a parents’ worst suspicions. As an example, parents came to us with concerns about their pre-teen’s drastic change in attitude at home as they seemed disengaged, constantly distracted, and was uncharacteristically avoiding conversation. While they assumed that this was the result of drug use, our surveillance revealed that the teen was instead being bullied at school, which was to blame for the emotional turmoil.
As part of our teenage investigation services, we also provide discreet and powerful GPS tracking devices, which can be affixed to the family car as a means of monitoring the whereabouts of a troubled teen. This serves as an added layer of comfort to concerned parents, allowing them to quickly locate their child should they be in danger.
Other Ways that Private Investigators are Helping Parents of Teens
Outside of substance-abuse related concerns, there are a number of other reasons why concerned parents will sometimes seek the help of a Private Investigator, to provide answers or serve as a pair of expert eyes to safeguard the well-being of their teenaged child:
- Company Concerns: Perhaps your child is spending time with a new crowd of peers, which is correlating with a change in attitude, dropping grades, and secretive behaviour. A Private Investigator can help clarify whether this peer group is engaging in activities that should concern you as a parent.
- A Job Offer That Raises Alarms: As a general rule, anything that seems too good to be true, usually is. If your intuition is signalling that the employer, company, or the offer presented to your teen may seem illegitimate, a Private Investigator can help you get a closer look through a combination of surveillance and in-depth background checks.
- Safeguarding the Young Traveller: Perhaps your teenage child is eager to explore the world and is doing so through a volunteer organization aimed at young adults. Unfortunately, there are a number of international volunteer organizations or au-pair services that are merely fronts for scams. To prevent your child from landing in a vulnerable situation once they are overseas, a Private Investigator can perform a detailed background check on the organization in question, to verify who they are travelling with, where they are going and staying, and who else they will be interacting with.
- Young Love…Online: The modern-day dating scene is predominantly online, for teens and adults alike. While it is imperative to talk to your teen about online safety and red-flags for fraud, should you suspect that your teenager’s online love interest may not be who they say they are, a discreet background check by a Private Investigator can help reveal any undisclosed details – such as a criminal record – that may put your child at risk.
- Missing Teens: Sometimes concerned parents will hire a Private Investigator specialized in person locates (or skip tracing) to run a concurrent independent investigation, even when police are involved in helping to find a runaway or missing teen. Many Private Investigators have law enforcement experience and expertise, however unlike the police whom are often constrained by heavy caseloads and jurisdictional bureaucracy, PIs have the time and resources to dedicate to your case, wherever it takes them.
It’s important to note that Private Investigators are not problem solvers, but rather truth-seekers. Our goal and priority is to provide you with the quality evidence that you need to make informed decisions regarding the well-being of your teenage child. For some parents, our evidence may be the catalyst they need to seek treatment for their child, or, in extreme cases, involve law enforcement.
Being a parent is hard! Let us help make it a little easier. If you need clarity or peace of mind regarding the safety of your teenager or pre-teen, reach out to Toronto’s Private Investigator Team and Family Investigation Experts. Let Star Quality Private Investigations help you get the answers you need, want, and deserve.